The hotel business in Ghana is in its lowest season due to the COVID-19 with zero to no bookings. Most hotels have temporarily closed during this period and are struggling to find their way out of the dark.
Now, the biggest fear is how to make a significant comeback after this hurdle.
Here are a few strategies to help your hotel business after the #StayAtHome period:
Apply low season strategies
Well, at the beginning of this year, you might have worked on your peak and weak seasons. However, who knew that this year would be a weak season year entirely. And we know it is difficult to achieve full hotel occupancy during such times, but this too will change soon.
For that reason, the best option will be to adopt your low season strategies after this pandemic. So, make sure you do this with some creativity.
For example, highlight the unique amenities of your hotel, offer competitive promotions, organize events like music concerts (after public gatherings are allowed), food festivals, etc.
If you plan this correctly, then you will definitely gain profits and stand ahead of your competitors in no time post this phase.
Get listed on OTAs and Get a Channel Manager to help manage all OTAs at a go.
Your presence is one of the most important things to consider post-COVID-19 era. If your hotel is available, it is the best and most simple way to get connected with them and enhance your bookings as well.
So, though you might be focusing on reducing your expenses, it’s the best time to get listed on as many OTAs as possible. More OTA connections will help you to generate maximum revenue as well as reach out to more guests.
You must have already joined many OTAs. But there’s no harm in getting listed on a few more if they match your property type and get you bookings at a cost.
Moreover, getting listed isn’t the only important thing. Instead, focus on showcasing the same number of total rooms, star rating, room types, cancellation policy, and check-in and check-out time on all the OTAs. The best way to make all OTAs unanimous is to get a channel manager to help you manage all these OTAs.
Focus on your online reputation
Your reviews and ratings would take center stage more than ever before post COVID19.
Are your premises safe and sanitized? Your guests would want to know about it.
So make sure you closely monitor how your brand is being projected and perceived by existing guests and potential guests. Working on your reputation most definitely helps with long-term benefits. So, even if you haven’t started with it until now, it is not late to do so.
You can reach out to your past guests to give you reviews, online; focusing on the cleanliness part if possible.
Thus, let your guests talk about their stay at your hotel on social platforms. Focusing on your online reputation will ensure safety in the minds of your potential guests that are planning to book with you in the future.
For now, respond to your reviews that are left unanswered; this will be beneficial to acquiring new guests.
Make Use of Emails
Email marketing has proved to be one of the best ways to engage and nurture readers.
Currently, you can reach out to your past guests via emails and stay connected with them. Email marketing will spread your brand’s awareness among your guests, and post COVID19, they will book at your property if they need to.
And, post the crisis, you can focus on emails like your hotel reopening date, special offers, deals, promotions, and more.
Practice this exercise in intervals. Don’t send too many emails as they might seem irrelevant. For now, send them once in two weeks.
Start Social Media Marketing
Social media is the best way to get more bookings. Marketing online will improve the hotel's brand value as well as connect and attract more guests.
More than 60% of internet users research online before they make a booking or purchase travel plans. - JQ Digital
So, it is important to be socially active and regularly post about your offers, combo packages, and deals on all your social media profiles. However, if you haven’t been active on these platforms, then now is the best time to start.
Currently, you can post about the steps you are taking to keep your property safe and sanitized. This will help you in the long run when you want to lift your hotel business after COVID19.
You can also use some ready-to-use social media templates that will be beneficial.
Optimize website and SEO performance
While staying at home during this lockdown, your hotel website and Search Engine Optimization is one thing you can start working on. An optimized hotel website can improve your hotels’ ranking and visibility on Google, Yahoo, and other search engines.
As observed, most of your audience lands on your website from search engines. Hence, focus on appearing at the top of the search engine results. Perform good SEO to improve your website’s performance.
These practices provide results in the long term. So, if you execute these now, you’ll be seeing good results by the time COVID19 is over.
Train your staff
Now and even after the COVID-19 era, your staff is the ultimate point of contact for your guests. Thus, you need to make them aware and train them to deliver an excellent guest experience.
Do this by conducting online training sessions for all your staff. Also, if you are using hotel technology, get them trained on that as well. Communicating with your staff will help you to stay engaged. It will also guide them on ways to improve your hotel operations.
All the more, make a list of all your pending and neglected tasks that you were unable to finish earlier. Start taking them up one by one.
Further, communicate with your staff and take ideas from them as well – you might get some good tips in doing so.
Ensure proper sanitation and cleanliness
During and post the outbreak, the first and foremost priority of your guests would be proper hygiene, sanitation, and cleanliness.
For this, educate your staff about the preventive measures that they should take on your hotel premises. Moreover, sanitize your hotel thoroughly. Install the alcohol-based disinfectant hand rub dispensers at maximum areas of your property.
Also, post the crisis, even when things have settled down, give FREE masks and sanitizers to all your guests as a safety measure. Be it at your reception or in the room.
While doing all of these, highlight it on your website, social media, and every possible link that reaches your guests.
This will assure your guests a sense of trust in your hotel and make them aware that their stay will be safe and pleasant.
This is the take all the possible measures to help our business sustain amid these crucial times.
Begin with focusing on the above strategies and prepare your property to meet this toughest phase of your business.
Lastly, don’t lose hope. Time will change, things will get back on track and guests will soon be at your doorstep. We are in this together and we will fight this crisis soon. Stay home. Stay safe. Till then, nurture and start preparing to lift your hotel business after COVID19.